Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Air Safety: Terrorism and Crashes

There have been two fatal air accidents this week, one in Ukraine in which 170 people died, and one in Kentucky, in which 50 people died. In neither case is terrorism being blamed as I write this.

The safety engineering that makes air travel so safe is astounding. The primary activities, from pilot training to maintenance to operations, are all excellent, and they’ve gotten there through a well designed feedback loop that analyzes every error. (oh, to have such a thing in information security! Errors being made public!)

Given that the air safety loop is so good already, and given the enormous resources being put into measures of dubious effectiveness, I’m curious: Would those resources be better spent further improving general aviation safety, or are they relatively well deployed in the areas of passenger and luggage screening?

PS: I know I have readers who are deeply interested in aviation safety. Can I ask you to provide some good links for further reading?

One comment on "Air Safety: Terrorism and Crashes"

  • beri says:

    In an effort to “save money,” the airlines are getting rid of the most highly paid pilots and hiring less experienced pilots. they use the less experienced pilots on the smaller “feeder” flights, such as the one that crashed in Kentucky.
    Getting rid of the unions (to which the more experienced pilots belong) does nothing for airline safety in the US. Nor does hiring less experienced pilots, even if they are cheaper.
    Maintenance on planes in Russia is a joke.

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